Description: Small gilt brass statue of Tse-pa-me or Amitayus. Figure seated in yogic or meditational pose. Both hands holding a vase which contains the nectar of long-life. Out of this vase grows a flowering Ashoka twig. He wears a large vertical five-jewelled crown and the clothes and adornments of the Bodhisattva. The figure is seated on a plain base.
Note: List of Curios No 152:
Per Barmiak Lama on 28th January 1913. Image of Tse-pa-me given me by the Tashi [Panchen] Lama on the 6th March 1912... made of brass, new. The Lama thinks there is sacred writing inside the base, as it is sealed up. Images of Tse-pa-me are largely made at Tashi-Lhünpo.
Curator's note: Bell did not meet with the Panchen Lama in 1912 and this gift may have come via Gould or Macdonald who were stationed at Gyantse and Yatung respectively. Otherwise, the Panchen Lama's Agent could have delivered this gift to Bell, on behalf of the Panchen Lama, in Sikkim or in Kalimpong. Bell describes visiting the workshops that make the statues, during his visit in 1906, in his book, ''Tibet: Past & Present', 'A visit to the Tashi Lama's metal factory found only some thirty artisans at work. They were engaged in turning out five hundred images of the god, Tse-pa-me, 'Eternal Life', for distribution to various monasteries throughout Tibet'.
Written by Emma Martin
T03942 [Photography Number];
N1997.1164 [Photography Number];
N1958.2042 [Photography Number]